September 11, 2017 / 5:18 PM / 4 months ago

French, Italian ministers upbeat after talks on STX shipyards row

ROME (Reuters) - Italian and French ministers were upbeat after talks on Monday aimed at resolving a row over Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s (FCT.MI) blocked takeover bid for STX France shipyards.

“A constructive meeting in Rome about STX. Our common goal: a deal between France and Italy for the September 27 summit,” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire wrote on Twitter, referring to a forthcoming bilateral meeting in France.

His Italian counterpart, Pier Carlo Padoan, also called the talks “constructive”, adding that the two sides had taken a step forward towards finding a deal. Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said the encounter had been “useful”.

France angered Italy in July after it ordered a “temporary” nationalisation of STX, cancelling a deal in which state-owned Fincantieri and another Italian investor had agreed to buy a 54.6 percent stake.

France took the decision after Fincantieri, which had agreed to buy the majority stake from its former South Korean owners, refused a French government proposal to accept 50-50 ownership.

    Le Maire said ahead of Monday’s meeting that he would make fresh proposals to Italy without giving details beyond saying they should be extended to Franco-Italian cooperation in the field of naval defence.

    Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Susan Fenton

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